As we creep into February with the New Year now in full swing, I’ve been interested, not only in the progress of my own, but other people’s 2017 resolutions and whether they’ve been sticking to them as vehemently as they’d hoped. Amidst the healthy eating, drinking more water and daily yoga promises, every year I hear that many, much like myself, wish to read more. Also, like myself, I frequently hear the same excuses: I wish I had more time to read or, I’d love to read a book a week but I’m just so busy. Of course, like so many excuses, they are exactly that. If you wanted to read more, you would; but sometimes an evening in front of the TV is more appealing.

As an English Literature graduate, books have always been a favourite of mine – I could while away many an hour in an old book shop, usually within the detective fiction corner, searching for a G.K. Chesterton hardback or an old Miss Marple tale I’ve missed along the way. I have a lot of books, stacked in corners, beside my bed and under tables, but of course, I haven’t read even half of them. That’s not to say I won’t, far from it, but I buy them quicker than I could ever read them.

My day job involves writing about new book releases – from food to travel, biographies, children’s literature, fiction and more – so, inevitably, my list of novels I want to cosy up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon is never ending. Add on an onsite bookshop and you’ll understand why our house is beginning to resemble an old charity shop come library.

I feel that in a world blighted by politics, technology and social media, an escape is just what we need. Even if mine is lost in a double murder taking place in the sleepy village of St. Mary Mead with only an inquisitive old spinster to solve it, we all need to cherish and make more time for these moments of solitude, wonder and imagination; after all, few people will wish they’d spent more time watching television.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! – When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Pride & Prejudice

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